Do you think the Veterans Administration is adequately serving the soldiers of today?
The VA has been under fire throughout the years with their treatment of soldiers. With so many returning from Iraq, do you think the VA has improved in its ability to serve these soldiers and their families?
Thank you for posting this question, Back Porch Stories. I am a volunteer with the VA and have been writing to the Federal Agency. I have written a hub about the stories these people have to tell.
I believe that the folks who organize the volunteers and those who are care givers are extraordinary. They need more volunteers and they need more staff.
So many vets now, and more coming back, who want to help themselves, but it is difficult. There are loan programs and grants for veterans, but hard to get a handle on how to help them apply.
The older vets, some still living from WWII, have extraordinary stories. We who know how to listen and write need to be listening to them and writing their stories out for them. Everyone benefits.
This needs to be known and written about...widely and a lot.
I am writing a hub soon about my husband. He is Nam Vet and his stories are profound. Right now he is fighting for his VA disability and so far we are hitting the nineth year of red tape. Yet Iraq Soldiers get their diability easily, thankfully!
I have written a couple of Hubs about my Vietnam Disabled Veteran. This is one of them. http://hubpages.com/t/2d1805
I can not say if the VA has improved their care program because I don't really study their process. I would say that as a nation we do not do enough to help our veterans. War is a horrible experience to live through. There is no way that being a soldier does not change the person that you were/are. The care of people who have served in war should not be measured in dollars and cents... what they have given for their country and our freedoms can not be measured in dollars and cents. Our government is all too happy to demand that soldiers fight and die, but it is not to quick to provide much for them in return.
That is my husband's struggle...waiting on the return! Be sure to shake a hand of any vet you come across and welcome them home, even if they are World War II. I usually identify them from hats they wear! Walk right up and point, then welcome!
No. As a returned vet, I have personally seen the quality of care that our government is providing. I assist in a facility that caters to their needs, and I have seen the lengthy amount of time it often takes to help a disabled vet. Just to get them medication, all but requires an act of God, and 1-3 mos. Come on people! Wake-up to the fact that these men and women were promptly injured for you and I--SO WHY MUST THEY WAIT FOR OUR HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SHOUT IT OUT! Keep the voice loud! The government probably needs to focus more on quality care in the VA. Though the VA has helped many, there are still many more falling through the cracks! Need to find some patching cement and stop those falls!
The government and nation as a whole is 54 Trillion's dollars in debt. I want to see our Vets provided for as well. So tell me where do you go and make the cuts so that they are better provided? Who do you rob to pay Paul?
Keith: We can start taxing corporations like GE, which paid no taxes in 2012. We as a nation are already robbing the tax payers when we spend billions bailing out companies that should have folded, or oil companies that make billions and pay nothing.
Nope! From personal experience and hearing about my buddies experiences from when we returned from Iraq in fall 2010....they are regarded as a last resort for treatment and often referred to as (pardon me here): "where people go to die."
They have improved a tiny bit in certain areas where the system was being bogged down. Prescriptions is one such area: you can call, log on myhealthevet, or show up in person to make various renewals.
They still have a long way to go in being able to fully support our vets from previous wars and still maintain speed with helping out our vets from Iraq/Afghanistan.
My husband swears the pharmaceuticals use the VA Vets for ginna pigs. I have seen men and women, bring in big bags of their bottles for the doctor. Sometimes 50 different ones to a bag!
Pharmacology is so complicated that people and vets should really sit down with their pharmacist and go over their presciptions. Doctors do not always know which medication is best for patients and many times they are paid to promote 1 med over anoth
All the pills the VA has forced down my friends throats has messed them up even more. Its about control I think. They wanna test their drugs, get 'em hooked, so they can keep makin money.
My husband always checks new prescriptions online. He has PTSD and they gave him one that said definitely NOT to give it if patient has PTSD. He has gotten several that warned not to take with another he had.
The Veterans Administration has some major departments and divisions. Most are doing very well, especially with improvements in the medical care system and the benefits provisions for veterans who have their claims approved.
However, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that the claims processing division is a dismal and incompetently run failure. The court ordered the VA to clean this up. The decision went along party likes, with Republicans wanting to do nothing, and Democrats wanting the VA to clean up its act.
The 9th circuit reversed itself, then recently changed its mind again. Meanwhile, almost a million veterans are finding their claims stuck, improperly handled, and corruptly handled.
The returning soldiers now present a much larger proportion who are in dire need of mental health support, or compensation and pension for service connected conditions ranging from serious body damage to diseases. These claims are backlogged in a disastrous way.
Several thousand returning vets have committed suicide after being turned away by the VA mental health geniuses. The director of mental health was caught telling his crew to cover up, then he joked about it all. That jerk is long gone.
America has broken its contract with two generations of an all volunteer military, and I hold each and every one of us (who does not step up and say something) accountable!
Well said my Sister! My husbands is Nam Vet and we are going on 9 years with his diability claim. What is funny, he got social security diability with the VA stating he is PTSD, but the VA is dragging on their decision. For now, living below average.
My Vietnam Vet had an 18 year fight. I have written about it.
I am Cold War and Gulf War era. I had orders to the gulf, plus my shots, and was about 18 hours from getting on the plane before the stand down came. But the VA says I'm not a wartime vet! Thanks for your comment.
I served with the Marine Corps Infantry in Iraq on the Syrian border. I was combat meritoriously promoted. When we got back to the US I was promoted to squad leader and assigned some new marines. We were training getting ready to deploy back to Iraq again. One of my marines was a problem from the get go, he didn't want to be there or deploy to Iraq...he was scared. I tried helping him out and bringing it up to my chain of command. They told me it was my job to train him. I never hazed him or hit him, just tried to deal with him. He eventually tried to commit suicide. It all got blamed on me and I was kicked out with an Other Than Honorable discharge for hazing.
I get no benefits from the VA yet I served my country in a war...I believe Honorably. I feel like I just walk around aimlessly waiting to get screwed by the government again.
That was dirty! Thanks for sharing. My husband's comment, "sometimes things never change!"
First, thank you for your honorable service. Secondly, sorry that such treatment was accorded to you. Third, if you haven't notice they are trying to change the image of the military. When commercials for marines show delivery of US Aid Boxes...
Thank you for your service and shame on them for their dishonorable treatment. I find it hard to understand them punishing someone else for another's suicide attempt, but they do as they please now, don't they?
You can challenge your discharge. If you are truly innocent, do it and don't let up.
In some cases yes, but in many cases no. I live in an area with a lot of active and retired military folks. Many have extraordinary problems getting their GI Bill stipends and so forth, some getting evicted in the process (I wrote about homeless vets in a hub recently). I agree with RustyW in that there are very lengthy waits if some vets even get what they are seeking while some seek and never get what they need. There are cases of people's diagnoses' being changed to save money for the gov't and what not yet the gov't thinks it's a good investment to waste $50 or more on a bolt that can be bought at hardware stores for $0.75. The treatment that vets receive is critical to them moving on with their lives in a positive way and too many are not receiving adequate treatment. Some are taking their own lives and many are simply never the same.
What amazes me is that so many still join the military. How many American lives and lives of civilians of other countries have been lost or ruined, and how many trillions wasted on useless wars?
What freedoms are US troops fighting for today? As Gerald Celente said, if Iraq's main export was broccoli America would not have invaded that country. Heck, the US and NATO are talking peace with the Taliban.
One last point to end this short rant, there is always more than enough money for guns and bombs but never enough for food, education or medicine. How sick is that? And America calls itself civilized.
So much of what you have written here is not even televised or pritned by what is apparently a corrupt news syndication. More people join because they do not understand what they will be put through afterwards.
Thus the view point of Government being the Protector so they can provide for themselves, and the view point of Government being protector by being the provider.
Let me tell you why so many American's join the military. It is called American Pride. The day the towers fell my husband went to sign the papers and take a stand to fight for your freedom along with the thousands after him.
Leaderofmany: I think pride plays a part in some recruitment. I think the GI Bill and college education plays a larger role. We can talk about pride... but where is the pride of this nation after a vet has lost his leg, his mind, or his humanity?
I know personally Soldiers who have lost arms, legs, and suffer from and the correct term is mental illness, such as PTSD andTBI and would still return overseas to defend you. Now that is true PRIDE!!!
If we can't take care of our veterans then it would be wise not to make anymore. Before the next war or police action is undertaken, best make sure we can afford to take care of the soldiers when they return. 50% of the US budget goes to the military.
Nope, and this is what occurs when people go to the government thinking that government should be the problem solvers of every woe of society. It is what happens when people try to have their cake and eat it too.
It basically comes down to what is more important taking care of veteran's who serve and protect the country or trying to care for everybody else in society at the same time? You can't have both, eventually the cookie begins to crumble as many are beginning to seemingly wake up to the fact that there is no such thing as unlimited wealth that can be spread about to take care of all of societies woes.
We are talking about soldiers...men and women who have sacraficed themselves and their families to protect what the believe is a free country. There are not looking for the cake and eat too, but for support for their sacrafice!
Way to miss the point... so how we supposed to support them? Who pays for it? Where does the money come from? Do you understand the saying you have to rob peter to pay paul?
Keith: I understand what you are saying, but we can support veterans by spending tax dollars appropriately. It is important to make sure that we take care of those people who were willing to die for our own freedoms.
Way to push the Koch Bros agenda! This is what I am talking about when people who don't say a word about the greedy crooks who got us into this state. Where is the trillion dollars that Cheney and Bush stole from us?
And this is part of the reason I had no desire to stay in the military, they require absolute sacrifice but when it comes to taking care of their families or the soldiers after they come back, there is no guarantee they will.
I am not sure there is a clear cut answer. sometimes the VA will act right away/ At other times they will let something very small clog the system.
Give the VA some credit. They are over worked and they don't get the needed funds. They are still saving people that would have died in the last war.
I agree, the VA does good with what the have. Time for the government put money into taking care of their warriors and not so much into war. Cant fight successfully with weak souls!
I agree there's no clear cut answer however, repeat problems need to be addressed such as the case with annual GI Bill stipend delays. This happens almost annually yet they refuse to beef up staff and the stipends go unpaid leaving some vets homeless
My husband has had panic attacks worrying if his Disability payments that we fought for 18 years for would make it through the budget cuts.
I am a Canadian forces vet. I am taken care of very well. However, I know that the vets in the US are not looked after at all.
I continually hear stories that shock me, of how the US gov is neglecting its vets.
We have some here in Canada that are neglected as well.
I am looked after well, like medical help, rehab, etc. however, I have not been given my pension.
Even if I did not have the medical care or rehab from my veterans affairs, in Canada, we have great, free health care anyway. So I would get that help.
I went with my father several times when he went to the veterans hospital for testing and for followup checks, They fought for skin conditions to be added to the list of things that was covered. They fought for other things as well but i do not remember what they all were. The only thing that I can say is my father didn't think that every thing that was needed by the veterans at that time was covered. He died in 1999 and mom in 1998 so am not familiar with the current war and their needs.
After reading all the responses, I would say current condition has changed little.
It would seem that the nurses and the doctor try their best but are held in check by policies that are either neglegent or out of date. It was interesting to read the comment from thomasczech with pension issues and not medical treatment issues.
My husband is a totally disabled veteran dependant on the VA for his health care and mental health. At this point, mental health is totally maxed out. He can not get a monthly appointment and if he has to re-schedule it for some reason, it is sometimes two months until they can get him scheduled back in.
The medical end of it is pretty bad too. He has numerous health issues includung brittle diabetes and a seizure disorder. He should be checked on his diabetes monthly but he only has appointments every three months. If he gets sick, he has to go to the ER to get referred to his caregiver Dr. This is not exactly the way that the system should work but it is better than it has been in the past.
Just a point of interest, the Nashville VA has remodeled extensively in the 10 years that I have been taking him there. They have remodeled and moved Pharmacy and Travel four times each. Wasteful.
Let me tell you, today is my husbands last day in the service. He is a disabled Vetetran. I have written several times about this. His service disability was at 50%. This is not his VA rating. He went yesterday to a VA representative which informed that his VA claim would take a year to 18 months to be settled. This means no VA rating or monies. With the Army pay we will make barely enough to cover house payment. My husband is unable to work and I am on disability. So my family will be looking at losing our house, car, and everything else that my husband did 4 deployment for and came home wounded. We are not the only ones in this situation. Many more young service members are ending up on our streets without homes due to VA system.
What needs to be done is Hubs like this one and blogs about things of this nature need to be written more about and forwarded. Letters to congress, senate, and White House need to go forward. Voices need to be heard!!!!
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